Crossing and finishing

This crossing and finishing practice is perfect for getting strikers hitting the net, and that’s something you can never practise enough.

It’s a fast-paced blueprint and requires players to be alert and switched on at all times.

SET-UP

Area
Up to a full pitch
Equipment
Ball, goals, poles, mannequins
Number of Players
Up to 11v11
Session time
Practice 20mins, Game 20mins

What do I get the players to do?

Setting up as shown, the attacker moves from behind the goal, runs around the pole and goes near-post for a cross from the wing. The crosser has to miss the mannequin and aim to run to the near post for a shot at goal. Now a player attacks the other end (1a).

1a

• An attacker emerges from behind the goal, runs around the pole, into the box, and connects with a cross from the left, placing his shot inside the keeper and avoiding the mannequins on the edge of the six-yard box. An attack begins in the opposite direction.

On the next attack, a player emerges from the other side of the goal, and the same crosser delivers a far-post cross (1b).

1b

• In the next phase, the same wide men deliver deep crosses towards the far post


We continue running the practice, now using the other two crossers, and always delivering alternating near- and far-post balls.

What are the key things to look out for?

This session is about precise deliveries and clinical finishes. Missing the mannequin is essential, and attackers, as a bare minimum, must ensure they hit the target.

How do I put this into a game situation?

We will put these crossing and finishing principles into an 11v11, narrowing the pitch by five yards and marking an area just for wide attackers to go into (2). This encourages time and accuracy in crosses, though we will make them two-touch.

2

• In the 11v11, channels are created for wide attackers so they have time and space to send over an accurate cross to be attacked

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